The buzz

Lahli gears up for Tendulkar

A round-up of the news as Mumbai prepare to bid goodbye to their biggest star
October 25, 2013

related links

Sachin Tendulkar is set to play what many believe may be his last domestic match when Mumbai take on Haryana in their Ranji Trophy opener at Lahli.

A 15-year-old Tendulkar made his first-class debut in the 1988-89 season in a Ranji Trophy match against Gujarat at the Wankhede Stadium. He walked into the middle when Lalchand Rajput was run out for 99, and faced his first delivery from offspinner Nisarg Patel before going on to score 100 not out. Read Patel's memories in Mid-Day here.

Sachin Tendulkar and Ajinkya Rahane during their double-century stand, Mumbai v Railways, Group A, Ranji Trophy 2012-13, Mumbai, November 2, 2012
Tendulkar: one last stand for Mumbai © Fotocorp

Twenty-five years later the village of Lahli gears up for the Haryana-Mumbai season opener. The Times of India reports that there is such a rush for Tendulkar posters that "the only shop that sells them, in neighbouring Kalanaur village, about 12km from the stadium, has run out of stock in no time."

Meanwhile, the Indian Express reports that all is quiet in the Mumbai dressing room as they prepare for the match. "We know it's his last domestic match, but nobody wants to say anything," said Wasim Jaffer, the former India opener who also plays for Mumbai.

Mail Today rewinds to 1991 when an 18-year-old Tendulkar batted against Haryana in an unforgettable Ranji Trophy final.

"Sachin spoiled our momentum in the second innings with his smashing knock," said former India and Haryana medium-pacer Chetan Sharma. "When he started hitting, none of us [the bowlers] knew where to pitch the ball. With his breezy batting he opened up the match, which was in our control until then."

Sharma also revealed how Sunil Gavaskar warned them at a dinner. "Sunny bhai told me that if we can get that 'chotu' out, the match would be ours."

Here's ESPNcricinfo's interview with Amol Muzumdar about that great Ranji Trophy final.

Features

The man whom cricket loved back

Sambit Bal: Tendulkar was the biggest worshipper the game could ever find, and in that lay the foundation of his greatness

Tendulkar's perfect balance

Sharda Ugra: While the team, the country and the sport changed around him, Tendulkar remained constant

Why do we insist on seeing the 'real' Sachin?

Rahul Bose: You can ask as much as you want for a more "human", more "feelable, touchable" Sachin, but he'll probably not change - and that's a good thing

Zaltz Stats

550,000,000
The approximate number of people in India today who had not been born when Sachin Tendulkar made his Test debut in 1989 (calculated from these figures). His batting has been so erotically outstanding that the global population has increased by almost 2 billion during his career, with the biggest increase, understandably, in India itself.

I have played cricket for 24 years, it has been only 24 hours since retirement, and I think I should get at least 24 days to relax before deciding these things.

Sachin Tendulkar doesn't want to think of what lies ahead just yet